Noted by The New York Times for giving “the proceedings an invaluable central thread of integrity and stylishness,” violinist Ariana Kim made her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall during her doctoral studies at Juilliard and is now a tenured professor at Cornell University. At 16, she made her debut with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and at 24 was appointed acting concertmaster of the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans; she has since become one of the most respected artists of her generation.
An avid chamber musician of both contemporary and established literature, Kim was a longtime member of the New York new music ensemble Ne(x)tworks and the Aizuri Quartet, the latter with whom she was awarded the 2017 Osaka Triennial International Competition Gold Medal in Japan, the 2018 M-Prize at the University of Michigan, and a 2019 GRAMMY® nomination for the album Blueprinting. During her tenure with the ensemble, the Aizuris also served as the Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and presented recitals at Suntory Hall Tokyo, the University of Toronto, the Caramoor Center, National Sawdust, Princeton University and the Kennedy Center. She currently serves as co-artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota and the Paesaggi Musicali Toscani Festival in Siena, Italy. She now marks her 17th season with The Knights, with whom she released the album, …the ground beneath our feet—a collection of live performances from a recent U.S. tour—for Warner Classics, on which she is a featured soloist in Steve Reich’s Duet for two violins and strings, alongside Guillaume Pirard; that track was chosen as one of NPR’s “Songs We Love” for the year.
A recipient of a Cornell Affinito-Stewart Grant, Kim released her first solo album Routes of Evanescence in 2016 which features works for solo violin and violin + 1 written by American women composers. Later that year, she lived and worked in Italy, giving a series of solo recital tours, and curating a cultural diplomacy public art project involving Cornell composers, the Cornell architecture students, and a group of newly settling refugees. Recently having returned from a second sabbatical in South Korea, Kim spent seven months studying the gayageum (an ancient zither-style instrument), performing throughout the country, and serving as a guest professor at Seoul National University.
In 2020, Kim spearheaded a project entitled How Many Breaths? In Memory of George Floyd and Countless Others—a multimedia piece for solo violin and spoken word, sewn together in a film featuring images and video of the street art that was created and the demonstrations that took place in the wake of George Floyd’s death in her hometown of Minneapolis. The score was written by EMMY®-nominated composer Steve Heitzeg, and the spoken word was created and performed by Sarah Bellamy and Lou Bellamy of Penumbra Theatre. Other recent projects have included the 2022 world premiere of Nightingales, a double violin concerto by Laura Schwendinger performed with Eleanor Bartsch and the Dubuque and UW-Madison Symphonies, serving as the live broadcast host for the series This Is Minnesota Orchestra and performing bluegrass shows in New York with her band, String Theory. Her upcoming solo album—which will explore improvisation through the lens of Mozart and Beethoven sonatas alongside world folk music—is set for release in the fall of 2023.